Alzheimer's: Bad air

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Alzheimer's: Bad air
Alzheimer's: Bad air

Thick Air

The number of cases of dementia in a region increases with the amount of particulate matter. Recent studies show how the particles from the lungs and nose can reach the brain and cause damage there.

My first day in Mexico City was tough. The smog was so dense that I gasped as I climbed the stairs. I had expected a headache; the city lies on a plateau 2250 meters above sea level, and the oxygen content of the air is correspondingly lower than on the coast. However, I was surprised at how badly the polluted air burned my eyes and lungs.

1992 the United Nations declared Mexico City the most polluted metropolis in the world. Since then, their administration has done a lot to improve the situation. With some success: The city is justifiably proud of its miles of bike paths and lush parks. However, a look at the blurred horizon reveals that the efforts are not enough. Most days, the air contains far more soot particles than recommended limits set by the World He alth Organization. There are also increased amounts of other pollutants. More than 9.6 million vehicles and an estimated 50,000 factory chimneys blow their exhaust fumes into the city. These envelop the metropolis in a poisonous brew that damages lungs and hearts. Many scientists now agree that pollution even affects the nervous system…

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